"Frayed relationships populate...The Distortions..., set in and around Zagreb during and after the Serbo-Croatian War. [...] These vivid stories remind us how quickly perceived difference can lead to conflict."
—The Washington Post
"This richly textured collection reminds us of the tether to our geographical homes."
In The Distortions we glimpse a pageant of characters struggling to understand their lives after the dissolution of Yugoslavia. Scarred by the last major war fought on European soil, the women and men of these stories question what such a violent past can mean in comfortable, capitalistic modern Europe. From London and Brooklyn and Norway, to the Blue Grotto of Biševo and the war-torn fields of Slavonia, this collection blends Yugoslavian and American stories of great emotional and geographical amplitude.
A former resident of Zagreb, Christopher Linforth is the author of two previous story collections, Directory (Otis Books/Seismicity Editions, 2020) and When You Find Us We Will Be Gone (Lamar University Press, 2014). Linforth's stories have appeared in Notre Dame Review, Witness, The Arkansas International, Fiction International, Consequence, and Best Microfiction 2021, among other places.
"Linforth's chiseled, captivating stories follow scarred, haunted people who are struggling to heal from the Yugoslav Wars. […] With compassion and brutal honesty, the stories in The Distortions deal with how war tears people apart, but also with the stubborn resistance of those who search for redemption." - Kristen Rabe, Foreword Reviews
"The Distortions takes us deep into the transgenerational trauma of the Croatian-Serbian war, but it does so with skill and nuance that make each story shine as a well-crafted gem. […] This book is a perfect example of how art can be a vehicle for remembrance, understanding, and most importantly, healing." - Samrat Upadhyay, judge of The 2020 Orison Fiction Prize
"In illuminating and perceptive prose, The Distortions bears witness to the haunt of postwar Croatia. These deeply felt stories illustrate the dilemma of a generation once removed from trauma, living amid the ghosts of war and tasked with the impossible—yet urgent—project of memorialization." - Kate McQuade, author of Tell Me Who We Were
"The remarkable Christopher Linforth is a storyteller at the top of his game, writing about shattered lives and broken dreams, about hopeless love and grieving families. […] You're not going to read many collections as powerful, as honest, and as compassionate as The Distortions. Yes, it's that good, and you're going to thank me for telling you to buy this book of Chekhovian gems." - John Dufresne, author of I Don't Like Where This Is Going